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Kyrgyz, Uzbek Officials Restart Border Delimitation

The heavily populated Ferghana Valley runs through three countries.

The heavily populated Ferghana Valley runs through three countries.

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz official says the stalled work delimiting the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border will restart in the coming months, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Salamat Alamanov, the head of the Kyrgyz government's regional issues department, told RFE/RL on January 4 that the two countries plan to continue working on border documents until April, and after that restart border-delimitation meetings.

Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan agreed during the December visit to Tashkent by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov to restart an intergovernmental commission on the delimitation and demarcation of the border.

The commission held its first meeting after a five-year break on December 29 in Tashkent.

The two countries currently recognize about 900 kilometers of their joint border, but some 600 kilometers are still in dispute.

In May, Uzbekistan unilaterally began digging a trench alongside its border with Kyrgyzstan.

There have been numerous border incidents between the two countries, several of them resulting in violence.

Uzbekistan has also periodically closed its border checkpoints with Kyrgyzstan.

There are some 800,000 ethnic Uzbeks living in Kyrgyzstan, making them the country's largest ethnic minority.